When it comes time to replace teeth, dental implants is a real option. A nice smile is what most people notice first. It is part of a first impression and no matter what age a person is they usually want to make a good first impression. This is difficult to do when teeth are missing. Some may limit their smile or choose not to smile at all.
Teeth can be lost in any number of ways. More than half of all people lose their teeth to gum disease. The cause of the disease may be lack of oral care, smoking or another medical condition may be the cause. Stress and hormonal changes may also be the culprit. Most people associate it with age but it can happen at any age.
Traditional dentures are the typical choice to replace teeth that have been lost. These work well when more than one tooth is missing. They can be used as a partial or full replacement. It is usually better to hold onto as many natural teeth as possible. These are made of a plastic or porcelain material depending on the clients need. They include a piece that covers the gum area and a small part of the roof and base of the mouth.
Adhesive is used to attach them to the gums and keep them in place. There are some issues that come up with their use. They do not always stay put and can make a clicking sound when the user is speaking. Various foods may also be off limits. Of course, anything that is hard, tough or sticky is discouraged.
A bridge can be used instead for partial replacements. These are quite invasive since they require grinding down the surrounding teeth to accept the bridge. The tooth itself will be surrounded by metal at the base and so will the closest teeth. These also require good maintenance since food trapped underneath can cause decay. The ones that are ground down may be weakened and lead to issues at a later period.
The choice for an implant is the most time consuming. The dentist will have to examine the patient to see if they are a good candidate for the procedure. They will need strong, healthy bone to accommodate it. This involves surgery and attaching a titanium screw to the jawbone. This screw is the base for the new tooth.
Some risks may be involved. This is because it is dental surgery. There can be nerve damage or infection. These will be reviewed with the dentist prior to beginning. Everything is done in stages and healing must take place between each stage. It may take from three to nine months to complete the process.
Dental implants are a way to achieve almost permanent replacement of teeth. The result is teeth that may last up to ten years. They do not have to be removed each night to clean. Just brush and floss as with natural teeth. There are no limitations on the types of food that can be eaten.